Heavenly, The Decline and Fall of Heavenly

Barry Walters

By Barry Walters

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

This Oxford, England quintet trumped its American counterparts (and US label mates) Beat Happening by drawing from similar roots (the Velvet Underground, DIY, '60s girlie-pop and feminism) but sang on key more often, played their instruments with a competence that eventually matched their enthusiasm and left behind punky pop for speedy new wave. On their second, shortest and arguably best album, lead vocalist Amelia Fetcher trades knowing lines with keyboardist and backing vocalist Catchy Rogers on snappy tracks like "Skipjack" and the unforgettable title "Sperm Meets Egg, So What?" Shortly before the release of 1996's rockier Operation Heavenly, drumming brother and primary songwriter Mathew Fletcher committed suicide, and Heavenly was no more.